Walks near Connel
During our stay in Connel over Christmas 2021 we did some lovely walks.
Loch Etive from Inverawe
An out-and-back route from the Forestry Commission carpark at Inverawe to the River Liver had beautiful scenery, a herd of deer, and the remains of a deserted township, Creag Buidhe.
Oban and Pulpit Hill
We made the mistake of going into Oban two days before Christmas. It was heaving. On Christmas Day itself, it was bright, cold and quiet. From the town, we did a circular walk climbing Pulpit Hill and the hillfort of Dun Uabairtich before returning along a minor road. We had fine views back to the town and over the Sound of Kerrera.
This is a “lollipop” route which starts and finishes by walking through Sutherland’s Grove alongside the Abhainn Teithil (river) before looping out to Gleann Dubh Reservoir and returning through Balcardine Forest. The grove is named after Lord Sutherland who was President of the Society of Foresters and helped set up the Forestry Commission in 1919. During the walk, there were views to Loch Creran, Loch Linnhe, and beyond to the hills of Morvern. We also met a funny little troll under a bridge!
Today Glen Nant is a nature reserve, but in the 18th and 19th centuries it was a busy industrial site with hundreds of people coppicing trees and burning them for charcoal for the nearby Bonawe Iron Furnace. In addition, the bark of the oak was used in the leather tanning industry. We found a very beautifully placed picnic table to eat our sandwiches.
In Fearnoch Forest we followed the Ant Hill Trail – Scottish wood ants make their impressive domed homes from pine needles, moss and heather. They eat a lot of other insects which are harmful to trees – for every square metre of forest there is estimated to be about 500 ants.
Ganavan Bay to Dunstaffnage
On our last day, we walked from Ganavan Bay, about three miles north of Oban, along the coast to Dunstaffnage Castle, returning slightly inland past the Marina and along the cycle path to avoid re-traversing the coastal trail mud.
This was a lovely way to spend the Christmas period in a year when we just wanted to get away from it all. We’ve had another three Scottish trips since then – we are getting back into our stride at last.
Linked to Jo’s Monday Walk.